Friday, 5 July 2013

Terminator 3 (4½ Stars)

After the big success of the first two Terminator films James Cameron was asked repeatedly to write and direct a third film. Trilogies are the in thing, as far as film studios are concerned. He refused, on the grounds that "Terminator 2" had wrapped up the story, in his opinion, and needed no third part. So eventually the film was passed to other hands. Less capable hands? Kind of. The third film isn't up to the standard of the previous two, but it's still surprisingly good.

The second film saw Cyberdyne destroyed, so that Judgement Day would no longer happen. We now hear that Judgement Day wasn't prevented, it was just delayed. A new terminator, a model T-X, has been sent back in time to assassinate the future deputy leaders of the resistance. An older Terminator model, a T-850, is sent back in time to protect John Connor, the resistance leader, and his future wife Kate Brewster. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars once more as the T-850, whereas the T-X is played by Kristanna Loken. Killing machines have never been sexier.

When this film was released it was heavily criticised. Maybe the expectations were too high. Now, 10 years after its initial release, it's viewed more favourably. (Is it really 10 years? I remember going to see it in the cinema as clearly as if it were yesterday). Maybe the reason is that it looks good compared with the awful fourth film, "Terminator: Salvation". I believe it stands as a good film in its own right, if it's not viewed in the shadow of the Cameron films. I've heard people claiming it was a box office flop, but they're misinformed. A flop is a film that earns less than it cost to make. "Terminator 3" made a profit of $230 million, admittedly less than Terminator 2's $420 million profit, but a lot more than the paltry $72 million profit earned by the first film.

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